NCARB grant project – Studio DAG

I recently got the opportunity to work on a joint project between the SCAD architecture department and games department. Our friends in the architecture department applied for and received a grant with the NCARB to develop an interactive game that teaches professional practices to architecture students.

When I came aboard the project, the core system had already been worked out. The basic principle is that you are given a scenario made up of individual scenes- basically decisions that need to be made. Each scene presents you with three possible choices and you must choose the course of action you feel is best. These choices move you down one of three tracks as you move through the scenario.

Another grad student, David Reardon, and I together with our professor worked out that each decision should influence your total values in one of six categories: Communication, Ethics, Environment, Ethics, Politics and Public Relations. As you make decisions, you are constantly being evaluated based on these categories, while also trying to keep the client happy. The interesting dynamic comes into play when these two factors are in opposition. The client usually values time and finances, but if you make too many decisions that negatively impact another category you can still fail, even if the client is happy.

Dave and I have been further developing our core system, while I’ve also been leading the game’s development using Unity. With the help of a class of students, we’ve managed to create develop our initial build.

NCARB June Build

We’ve been working with a larger development team than I’m used to, which has been really great.  We’ve managed to generate a lot of content in just 10 week.s  I just wish we had more programmers.  Still, we managed to produce a vertical slice of Studio DAG (not the title I would have given it) in a very short period of time.

Some things aren’t quite finished, as you’ve no doubt noticed by the giant glaring “character name” in the image above, but those will hopefully get polished up pretty soon.  Myself and a few others will continue work over the summer, so hopefully we can continue work on some of the systems we developed but didn’t get a chance to implement.